By Linda Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS, CSMCS, CELDC
[email protected]

After taking a break from your professional career to raise your children, you are ready to re-enter the workforce. You aren’t alone; 63% of married mothers would prefer to work part-time or not at all.
Re-entering the workforce is a major life change and will be a challenge. A positive attitude and confidence will go a long way in convincing hiring managers to give you a chance.
There are a few other things you can do to increase your attractiveness. Before you know it, you’ll be mastering the board room again.

Prepare to Answer Questions
There is no getting around it. Hiring managers will want to know about the break in your employment. They will also have a few questions for you.
Know why you want to go back to work. This needs to go beyond financial. Having a solid reason will motivate you and instill confidence in potential employers that you are serious. Here are some reasons other than financial to help you get started.

  • Looking for increased responsibility
  • A need to interact with and help others
  • A desire to learn more and share your knowledge
  • Apply and develop your skillset
  • Contribute to society

You also need to know what you want to do. This will help you find and target the right opportunities. It will also help you tailor your resume to suit your goal position.

Update Your Resume
Just because you haven’t been in the workforce for the past few years doesn’t mean that you haven’t gained or developed skills. It is now your job to identify those skills and show how they can translate to your future position. Don’t leave it up to hiring managers to make these connections for you.
When writing your resume, structure it to focus on your skills. Use a combination format where you focus on your skills at the top and list your professional experience at the bottom. This way, you aren’t hiding anything but also staying focused on what is important.

Identify Transferable Skills
Accentuate your transferable skills. The skills you have to be a successful mom are similar to the skills you need to be successful in a professional setting. 95% of professional females think raising children has provided them with skills they now use in the workplace.
This could include communication, multitasking, or logistics. Show employers that you can effectively communicate by attentively listening and expressing yourself clearly and concisely.
Demonstrate that you can multitask by providing specific examples in a professional manner. This does not mean giving your mom duties a professional sounding title.

Beef up Your Skillset
If you are finding that your resume is still a bit light, then it is time to start taking extra steps. This way you can shore up your skills and make yourself competitive in the job applicant market.

This is the easiest way to gain skills outside of the home that can easily translate to a professional career. Consider the skills that are needed for your desired position and volunteer somewhere that also uses them.
For instance, if you are interested in a career in the medical industry, then volunteer at a hospital or nursing home. You could volunteer at your child’s school, or your church may have opportunities.

Take a Class
Some skills won’t translate. If your goal position requires proficiency in particular software, then it may help to take a class. This will allow you to become familiar and reduce the amount of on the job training you require.

Attend a Conference
How can you hit the ground running in a career if you aren’t familiar with the current industry? Attending a professional conference can help you learn about current industry events. It can also help you network and increase your professional connections.
By remaining confident and showcasing your skills, you will be able to re-enter the workforce.

Let’s get to work!
If you are ready to move your executive career forward contact me today at 203-323-9977 or [email protected]